• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

The Super Vitamin for Hangovers

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

People often feel agitated, nauseous, experience loss of appetite, are disoriented, and can even have severe headaches after a night of drinking. These symptoms are described as the definition of a hangover. Recent binges on alcohol can cause severe dehydration and loss of essential nutrients. This is due to the fact that the body is burdened with a toxic overload in the blood and cannot effectively detoxify the free radicals out in its first cycle. 

The Super Vitamin Intervention

A great intervention for hangovers is the super vitamin C. Also known as Ascorbic Acid, vitamin C has powerful antioxidizing properties. [8]. It works in the Phase 1 detoxification process known as the P450 Enzyme phase. [7]. The reason why vitamin C is so very important for detoxification is because it has a positive charge and acts as a proton donator, with the ability to pair with the free radicals roaming inside the body. [8]. In essence, this will ultimately decrease the free radical formation and reactive oxygen species (ROS), and successfully detox and cleanse cells. [8]. Vitamin C is one of only two proven vitamins to reduce ROS successfully. [8].


A great nutrient to support the effectiveness of vitamin C is Quercetin. [7]. It is a flavonol from the polyphenol group. [3]. Flavonoids are a subclass of phytochemicals that regulate cell growth. [3].Quercetin is the one Flavonol that is most studied. [3]. It is said to provide antioxidant actions and increase mitochondrial biosynthesis. [3]. 

Quercetin is considered a cofactor for vitamin C and helps vitamin C become more bioavailable. [7]. It also reduces the amount of inflammation that comes from consuming alcohol in excess and supports vitamin C in antioxidant processes. [1]. As well, it spares vitamin C when it is low, by helping with its functions. [4]. This is because flavonoids can bind to non-heme iron in plants causing decreased absorption of vitamin C by taking its place. Quercetin can be found in the highest amounts in onions and kale.


Quercetin-C is a recommended supplement for antioxidant purposes. This particular brand [Quercetin-C] has Catechin, which is an activator of the bioflavonoid, Rutin. Phosphatidylcholine is supplemented in this formula due to its absorption capability. This brand gets its vitamin C from the main source of Tapioca. [2]. Tapioca is a richer source of vitamin C since most vitamin C supplements are made from corn. [7]. 

Other Facts

It is also said that there is no difference in the engineered ascorbic acid form and the natural form.[4]. Massive higher doses have been observed to reduce cancer, inborn errors, and reduce other disease states." [4]. Superfoods containing both vitamin C and quercetin are oranges, tea, kiwi, strawberries, and eggs. Add these with broccoli or Brussels in combination and these can become a "Super Food Meal." Containing both ingredients for the Super Antioxidant effect. 


  1. Askari, G., Ghiasvand, R., Feizi, A., Ghanadian, S. M., & Karimian, J. (2012). The effect of quercetin supplementation on selected markers of inflammation and oxidative stress. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences17(7), 637–641.

  2. Emerson Ecologics. (2019). Quercetin-C 90 caps [Information web page]. Retrieved from https://www.emersonecologics.com/products/detail/12519/item/QUERC

  3. Fry, M. (n.d.). NUTR612 Lecture: Choline [PDF]. Retrieved from https://learn.muih.edu/7862/pages

  4. Fry, M. (n.d.). NUTR612 Lecture: Vitamin C [PDF]. Retrieved from https://learn.muih.edu/7862/pages

  5. Fry, M. (n.d.). NUTR612 Lecture: Flavonoids and Polyphenols [PDF]. Retrieved from https://learn.muih.edu/7862/pages

  6. Mahan, L. K. & Raymond, J. L. (2017). Krause’s Food and the Nutrition Care Process, 14th Ed. St. Louis MO: Elsevier

  7. Pioneer Nutritional. (n.d.). Tapioca Sources Vitamin C [Label]. Retrieved from https://pioneernutritional.com/tapioca-sourced-vitamin-c.html

  8. Ross, C. A., Caballero, B., Cousins, R. J., Tucker, K. L., & Ziegler, T. R., (2014). MODERN NUTRITION in Health and Disease, 11th Ed. PA: Wolters Kluwer.

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